FREE delivery: Tuesday, Dec 6 on orders over $25.00 shipped by Amazon.
Ships from: Amazon.com Sold by: Amazon.com
Other Sellers on Amazon
Follow the Author
If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly Paperback – July 16, 2014
Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip.
View high quality images that let you zoom in to take a closer look.
Enjoy features only possible in digital – start reading right away, carry your library with you, adjust the font, create shareable notes and highlights, and more.
Discover additional details about the events, people, and places in your book, with Wikipedia integration.
Enhance your purchase
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
- Publisher : Efficient Frontier Publications (July 16, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 48 pages
- ISBN-10 : 098878033X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0988780330
- Item Weight : 2.72 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.11 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #119,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Other potential investors may think, “Shall I delay,” given the gyrations of the stock market’s current volatility? “Whom can I ask for professional help?” or “What in the world is a fiduciary, some exotic bird sanctuary?”
But don't fret millennials! Dr. Bernstein comes to the rescue and lists and addresses these concerns for newbies in five categories of “Hurdles” and follow-up reading material for each:
Hurdle one: Excessive spending. Recommended reading: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. (I also recommend a blog, Mr. Money Mustache. He writes imaginative and practical articles about the most boring and unappealing characteristics of personal finance, frugal living).
Hurdle two: Not understanding the basics of theory and practice of finance. Recommended reading: Jack Bogle’s classic, Common Sense on Mutual Funds. This book is probably the best introduction to basic finance ever written.
Hurdle three: History. A colorful and interesting stock market history does exist! Three recommended books: Devil Take the Hindmost by Edward Chancellor, The Great Depression: A Diary by Benjamin Roth, and in a recent interview he also suggested Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay.
Hurdle four: Know thyself. Recommended book, Your Money and Your Brain, by Jason Zweig (details below). .
Hurdle five: Recognizing the financial industry professionals for whom they really are--self-serving. Evolving to a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY) is the best advice offered. The reading assignment is the same as Hurdle Number Two: Common Sense on Mutual Funds by Jack Bogle. If you devour the details of this book, you will know more about investing than most professionals. If you know how to invest, you will see what the financial industry is up to and you will avoid their sales pitches with confidence.
Dr. Bernstein’s book is an aggrandized “Cliff Notes” to focus and encourage Millennials to begin a serious study for the next year or two of additional readings.
I want to elaborate on Hurdle number four. “Know thyself” cannot be learned from reading alone. Even Sir Isaac Newton lamented, “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people." Newton struggled bitterly trying to find out what went wrong with his investments during the 1746 South Sea investment crash.
The surest way to build mental toughness and discipline is to experience losses with your real money. Readers who understand their emotions will benefit by knowing their unique balance between taking on too much portfolio risk or being too cautious. If novice investors have prepared themselves to suffer through short-term losses and experience recovery, you will be okay. Recall the title of this book, “… Get Rich Slowly”. There is only one part of the financial industry you can trust, and that’s the worldwide economies will grow overtime. Be patient. Time is on your side.
Jason Zweig’s excellent book (Your Money and Your Brain) will focus your understanding of how other investors react to stock market gains and losses. Investors need their own experience in the school-of-hard-knocks. After reading Dr. Bernstein’s recommended books, most novice investors must experience by living through stock market volatility to understand their reactions when Mr. Bear Market comes growling. Why? If an investor is not prepared mentally, a carefully constructed low-cost portfolio is abandoned faster than a cockroach scurrying from your kitchen light.
This reviewer learned the hard way and took a working career to comprehend the investing process and balanced thinking, but never regretted massive investing mistakes. In hindsight, losing 70% was painful with the incessant question, what was I thinking? However, those mistakes turned out to be valuable learning experiences, saving tens of thousands in excessive investment costs in subsequent years with an appropriate risk and return, low-cost balanced portfolio.
Congratulations for finding this excellent book--you will thank yourself 30 years from now. Learning to be a DIY takes time, and for some, perhaps a painful experience or two. Don’t be discouraged if you stumble. Always remember, mistakes can be valuable learning experiences, far more valuable than spending several percentage points year-after-year when you turn your decisions over to a financial adviser or broker.
Final note: The author praised the genuine greatness and unpretentious John Bogle, the founder of the Vanguard Group. For decades, Bogle has been the only person in the financial services industry who gave Vanguard’s profits back to clients. Subsequently, Vanguard has grown to be the largest and most respected investment company in the world. Twenty million investors with over four trillion in assets (Feb. 2017) participate in Vanguard, agreeing with Bogle’s over-the-top concern about giving us regular folks a fair chance against Wall Street’s innate greed
If You Can is William Bernstein's financial planning booklet for people starting out in their careers. It is normally $0.99 at the Kindle Store (free today), but you can download it for free from Bernstein's website. At 27 pages long, it is short and can be read in a couple of hours. However, if you actually do do the homework in the book (which only of reading other financial books), the claim is that you will know more than most financial professionals about investing.
The prescriptions in the book are fairly straightforward: save money (at least 15% of your income), pay off all debt, invest in a diversified portfolio (the suggested 33% even splits between domestic stocks, international stocks, and bonds is a fairly good one), learn a bit about finance and financial history, rebalance your portfolio about once a year, steer away from financial professionals who will try to steal your money and only buy indexed funds (preferably Vanguard ones).
Of course, straightforward doesn't mean easy. Being able to do all of these would qualify you to manage money not just for yourself, but for any one and any institution. Similarly, doing all of the homework assignments isn't easy, since it's actually substantial reading. Here's the reading list:
The Millionaire Next Door
Common Sense on Mutual Funds
Devil Take The Hindmost
The Great Depression A Diary
Your Money And Your Brain
How A Second Grader Beasts Wall Street
All About Asset Allocation
Bernstein carefully steers away from promoting his own books (which are very good), and leaves out several classics such as A Random Walk Down Wall Street , which are useful but also not as much fun reading as the above list.
In any case, the irony of all teaching is that the people who need it the most won't show up in class, hence the people who need this booklet the most probably won't read this book. But if you're the kind of person who gets asked for financial advice, in the interest of saving your time and your breath (since sadly, this type of advice is more frequently ignored than followed), this is a great little free booklet to point people at so you can talk about more interesting things.
Top reviews from other countries
Within the simplicity there is clear intellectual rigor and thought and some nice nuggets eg as to why to avoid corporate bonds.
Mr Bernstein is up there with Bogle, Malkiel and Browne in his messaging and wisdom on finance.